A Cautionary Confession

Be careful around me, with me. I am a thief. I am a life thief.
I will steal the look in your eyes, the inflection in your voice,
the scent of your hair, your beard,
your mannerisms, your darkest secrets.
I will steal the way you love, the way you loose.
the way you tip, and the story of your first broken heart.
I steal the wind and the stars and the seasons.
I steal, and I weave, and I create.
You will read days, years, from now things you did, said,
aspects of yourself in characters not of your knowing,
not of your making and most likely not of your liking.

If you ever loved me there are aspects of you,
in every man that I write.

Or maybe you will remember when you read it,
be able to pluck out the fiction the moments that were real.
The bedrock of my writing.

Maybe, you will remember that night, that drink, that touch,
that talk, those tears, that kiss, that coffee, that snow, that afternoon,
that morning in Minneapolis with those two red birds outside our window.
That rooftop in New York.

I never stop noticing. I never stop stealing, and collecting.
I am simply warning you that if you come across me,
you have already become fair game.

The way you write.
The way you hate.
The way you smile.
The drinks you order.
The way you didn’t talk to me,
the things we didn’t say.
The time you smashed my head into the drywall.
The time you left me.
The apartment.
The plane.

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